Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the boundaries of Tallahassee extend beyond the edges of campus. As a local I sometimes find myself sticking up for the quiet charms nestled around town. We may not have Broadway or Islands of Adventure, but there’s something nice about driving down a canopy road.
Here then are a random selection of things that I am glad to have in or near my hometown.
All location titles are links to the establishment’s website – please check them out!
Tallahassee has a zoo. Seriously. The animals are all native Florida wildlife, with the exception of a rotating guest animal, but there is no mistaking this for anything other than a real, live zoo. The museum has a really cool ropes course, seasonal events like a haunted trail, and an actual 1880s farm. However you will likely forget all of that as you lose yourself watching the otters play for hours on end. Come for the quaint gift shop, stay for the otters.
Governor’s Park was THE place to set up a slip n slide for me during my misspent 20s. A huge hill with water spigots across the top means 200-400 ft slip n slides are very achievable. It’s also just a nice little park hidden away under Blairstone Road. There used to be a fascinating abandoned mansion on the edge of the park which has sadly been demolished.
This is what Cracker Barrel gift shops aspire to. You won’t find gem sweaters or off-brand NERF guns but you will find homemade sausage that they’ve been making since 1927.
St. Marks is a beautiful coastal wildlife refuge. For many people, the biggest draw is the 20 mile bike trail you can ride out to the preserve. I am not one of those people. I’m particularly fond of the old lighthouse.
Hidden in the trees behind the Taco Bell by the I-10 exit on Monroe, lies an honest to goodness piece of history. The Spring House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The same Frank Lloyd Wright who designed the Guggenheim museum in New York, and the Fallingwater residence in wherever that is. This house was abandoned for years and was in serious disrepair last time I saw it, but it remained a beautiful piece of architecture. There is a movement to restore the building and they are now giving tours on the second Sunday of every month.
Bonus restaurants that are a little out of the way:
Tasty outdoor Italian. Out of the way, but they make a mean plate of pasta.
I have lost track of how many restaurants Lucy Ho has opened in town, but this is my favorite so far.
You’ll have to trek all the way to Thomasville for this one, but the Mountain Dew cobbler is absolutely worth it.
If you’re headed to Thomasville but you’d rather grab a delicious pizza, give Moonspin a try. Grab a chocolate-peanut butter cookie for dessert.
Content for this post was written by Josh Boyd, advisor for Political Science and International Affairs majors in the College of Social Sciences.